Former McIntire dean pleads guilty to child porn charges

Michael Morris could face up to 30 years in prison

morris

Former Assoc. Commerce Dean Michael Morris pleaded guilty in federal court Monday morning on two counts of distributing or receiving images of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

The change of plea hearing was held at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Morris altered his original not guilty plea made during his last arraignment in December.

Morris was arrested by the FBI November of last year after investigators traced his University email address to a PayPal account registered on a peer to peer porn sharing website. He was accused of logging onto the site 192 times between January and October of 2013 and downloading videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit activities.

Morris was subsequently suspended by the University and officially resigned in January.

“[In] evidence presented during the plea hearing, a law enforcement officer, acting in an undercover capacity, successfully downloaded videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that Morris had made available to him on a publicly available file-sharing site,” according to a Department of Justice press release.

U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said the plea was “a small consolation for what these children endure while being victimized.”

Morris faces a possible sentence of five to 20 years in prison on the distribution and receipt charges and a sentence of up to 10 years in prison on the count of possession.


Published April 21, 2014 in FP test, News





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